Nuclear energy

 cattenom Nuclear Power Plant, France

 cattenom Nuclear Power Plant, France

The Cattenom nuclear power plant is a nuclear power plant located in France. It is currently operated by Electricité de France (EDF). Geographically it is located in Lorraine, in the city of Cattenom, on the banks of the Moselle between Thionville and Trier. The cities of Luxembourg, Arlon, and Metz are very close to the nuclear power plant.

Luxembourg, the Saarland and Belgium demanded the closure of the plant. Despite this, there is a project underway to extend its useful life until the year 2025.

Characteristics of the Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant

The Cattenom nuclear plant is a facility for the generation of electrical energy through nuclear fission. It has four nuclear pressurized water reactors (PWR). Each of these reactors has a capacity of 1,300 megawatts of power.

All the nuclear reactors at the Cattenom nuclear power plant were built by Framatome.

Worldwide, the Cattenom plant is located on the seventh floor of the world in installed capacity. At the national level, the nuclear power plant is the second nuclear power plant in France with the largest electricity production. The only plant with the greatest capacity to produce electricity in France is the Gravelines nuclear power plant.

Some 1,200 people work at the plant.

Cooling of the Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant

The Cattenom nuclear power plant has four cooling towers. The water used for cooling comes from the Moselle River.

The operator Electricité de France built a water tank during the construction of the plant by building a dam. It is the Mirgenbach artificial lake. In addition, in 1985 a second lake was built, by building a dam in the Pierre Percee valley, near the Vosges mountains. This second lake works as a support for the flow of the Mosla River in the months of drought.

In February 2011, cracks appeared in the water supply pumps in front of the concrete support Moselle to nuclear reactors 1 and 2. This anomaly, is in level 1 of the INES scale of incidents and nuclear accidents. The event questioned the strength of the bombs in the event of an earthquake. At the end of June 2011, the supports were reinforced.


Reactor typePressurized water reactor (PWR): working and pros and cons
Reactor modelP4 REP 1300
Grid connection1986-11-13
OwnerElectricite De France
OperatorElectricite De France

Published: January 6, 2013
Last review: November 29, 2016

Nuclear power plants in France